tonight on "nightline," what women want? from soccer moms to working women, they are snapping them up in the hundreds of thousands. erotic books and movies, for women, by women. but is this a new sexual revolution or just a new way of pushing porn? to everest and back. the most famous climbing disaster in history, eight people perished on the mountain, and this man emerged a hero. now, so many years later, he takes our cameras back. and incredible, physical and emotional journey, confronting the ghosts of the past in a mountain without mercy. tonight, a "nightline" exclusive. lessons from the mountain. >> announcer: from the global resources of abc news, with
terry moran, cynthia mcfadden and bill weir in new york city, this is "nightline," april 20th, 2012. >> good evening, i'm terry moran. "50 shades of grey" holds the number one spot in "the new york times" best seller wrist, an extraordinary distin shun for an erotic novel. it owes it word of mouth success to its massive female audience. an audience that some say is starting to fundmentally alter the male-dominated porn industry with a particular brand of for women by women erotica. here's abbie boudreau. >> reporter: ali thcia is 46, a former paralegal. now, she's a stay at home mom, who loves her 13-year-old son. her husband of 21 years. reading erotic novels and watching porn.
>> i have porn and erotica here. >> reporter: call it a mommy porn revolution. a wave of steamy, sexy, some would sail raunchy romance novels sweeping suburbia. and something else. much of it is made by women for women. >> you say, "get back to work." >> reporter: who say it's all about what women wants. >> what our audience wants to see is a passionate love scene that is filled with chemistry and sense yulety. >> you take your hand and run it down her arm or his arm. >> reporter: angie is the creator and owner of ssh.com. and she says the demand keeps growing. >> they want to relate to the characters. and it's like the romance novel come to life. >> reporter: which means today, there's more dialogue than veteran pornstar jeanne is used to. >> well -- >> my lawyers. >> my lawyers are looking into
it. >> how do we move prove it? is. >> reporter: the finished product is a kind of an x-rated modern cinderella story. it feels like a cross between a date movie and the kind of tapes teenage boys hide in their closet. about 40 minutes of romantic plotting and a ten-minute scene of fairly hard core porn. but is what they're doing really liberating women? or isn't it just degrading them, like, well, porn? >> i believe porn can bedy grading, yes. this has been that experience, at all. it's been a pleasure to work with people that are like-minded performers they hire. >> it's about romance and love. i think it's respectful to women. >> brandy wrote the script for the film. >> different people have different interpretations. i think sex is fun. >> reporter: what do women want? something even hollywood couldn't figure out in the movie "what women want."
and in tv shows like "the real housewives of atlanta," where candy is trying to answer that question with her own line of sex toys for women, sold at stores like the pleasure chest in los angeles. >> i'm thinking, this is not mom. but you are saying, oh, yes, it is. >> oh, i think it is mom. during the day, we have the mothers who are dropping their kids off at school and coming back and getting the products they're going to have for the evening or the weekend. >> reporter: what is it that women want? >> everything. >> reporter: we met with alicia and a bunch of other unabashed mothers. what are some of the common misconceptions people have about erotica? >> they think it's so extreme. they think they are going to get lit on fire. >> chained up and bound and gag and scar and twisted and -- >> and it just doesn't happen. >> only if you want to. >> that's true. >> only if you want to. >> reporter: "shades" has sold more than a quarter million copies so far, with movie rights
going for a reported $5 million. the book is filled with taboo subjects like bondage, dominance and submission. and author e.l. james items "20/20" anchor elizabeth vargas she's happy bringing sex into the main stream. >> well, it's a lv stoove story. people who fall in love have a lot of sex, don't they? i seem to remember that. >> i think women all over the country will be reading parts out loud to their significant other and saying, you know, let's do this. let's try it. record a >> reporter: and what the popularitile of porn for women really seems to come down to is something men don't always seek. a desire for close nlts and intimacy, whether the women or in charge or letting their partners take the reins. and the husbands seem to feel like they are benefiting. >> i had a man come in, he said, i've been with my wife for 20 years, i had sex tree times this week and i have not doenl that in a long time.
>> let me spank you like that? >> yeah. >> reporter: alicia says what she learns from her erotic books and mommy porn she aflips to her marriage and her husband doesn't seem to have a problem with it. >> how hard can i spank you? >> i don't know. let's just try it. >> reporter: after 21 years of marriage, your sex life is better now? >> it's awesome. and i'm looking forward for the next 25 years. >> reporter: they say a good sex life makes for a happier home. for women and their partners. updating the old adage, happy wife, happy life. >> we have real chemistry, there's lots of romance. it's not all about the sex. there's a reason for the sex and because women are in a position of power. that's it. >> reporter: it's not for everyone. but as more women explore these once hidden things, perhaps men won't complain the next time their partner wants to bring a book to bed. for "nightline," i'm abbie boudreau in los angeles. ♪ [ acoustic guitar: upbeat ]
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>> announcer: "nightline" continues from new york city with terry moran. >> the summit of mt. everest. more than five miles high, close to cruising altitude for a 747 jumbo jet. there are only a few weeks a year the unforgiving peak plays host to thousands of daring klummeners, all somehow compelled to answer the call of the mountain. tonight, we bring you the extraordinary story of one man, hailed also a hero for what he did on the deadliest climb in everest's history, but now decided his journey could never truly end until he faced her
terrible beautiy once more. cynthia mcfadden with lessons from the mountain. >> everest is a very beautiful, very proud place. >> reporter: 16 years ago, neal bideleman climbed the mightiest mountain of them all. everest. >> it just didn't seem right to me at all that that would be the last word that everest spoke to me. >> reporter: the mountain took eight lives that day. it was the single most devastating mount nearing disaster in recorded history. one that became the subject of best-receiving books and documentaries. back then, he was working as a guide under his close friend, the seasoned mountaineer scott fischer. fischer was one of those that has never returned. and beadleman said he's never understood why. while many were blamed, there were only words of praise for
beadleman, who went up a mountaineer and came down a hero, though he himself doesn't see it that way. neal, you have been widely talked about as really a hero for '96. is that a comfortable description for you? >> no, it's not. i don't -- i mean, it's nice that people to say that. but there were very, very few heroes there. >> reporter: but you acknowledge that but for some of the things up did, a whole lot less people would have lived. >> maybe. i -- you know, i -- i don't really go there. i don't think about it in those terms. and it's -- i mean, i did as much as i could and it took me quite awhile to really appreciate that. >> reporter: for years, he was in high demand to speak about the lessons he'd learned on the mountain. how small decisions can lead to big disasters about weighing risk and consequences.
and about the importance of seizing second chances. and then one day, he realized it was time for him to do all that himself. neal knew apart of him had never truly come down from that mountain. to really come down, he had to go back up. >> the whole trip just took on a different sense of reality. to all of a sudden have all those feelings of this trip and 15 years of thinking about it come flooding back in just a few minutes. >> reporter: like the vicious storm that stuck up on them. >> i have pictures as i was descending late in the day and looking back to the summit, there's beautiful blue sky but this jungle storm was blowing up from the south onto us. it was not the thing that caused the deaths but it exposed everybody's weaknesses. >> reporter: a cascading series of bad choices and bad luck. >> when things start going wrong and the clock starts ticking ail way, that's when things can go
wrong in a big way and in a hurry. it's the kind of place where really catastrophic things can happen and you can't -- you can't see them coming. >> reporter: and air at these altitudes is so thin, the brain gets foggy. >> you just don't have the same power or the same snap. you get out of breathe very easily. i wanted to go back, in some ways, just to physically lay over the rationalization that i had in my own mind that that was all i could do. and to fully experience what we experienced then in a small way, but under those conditions. >> reporter: he's reached the exact spot where he rallied ten of the climbers, scattered and weak, into a life-saving huddle. they'd become lost in the blizzard, looking for their camp. >> this is where i decided we
had to sit down, right here. so, all of us, all 11, we came to this, this rock, it was ice and we just sat down with our backs to the wind like this, just kind of knelt down, arm in arm, we were holding each other. this was life or death. and we got as close together as we could and we held on and we slapped each other on the back, slowly at first, sometimes hard. we moaned to etch oo othach oth. >> reporter: these things saved many of their lives. and after hours, finally -- >> i looked up, all of a sudden, it had changed. it stopped snowing. above, there's star light. i'm thinking, this is it. this is our chance. the break. we have to figure this out now. so, i stood up, i yelled, just, like, frozen stiff, we could barely, barely move. >> reporter: one climber from
japan was in the worst shape. >> and i grabbed her, tried to stand her up, as well. but every time i pulled and just tried to do something else, she would fall off my arm. >> reporter: those who could find the strength began to stagger forward to the safety of the camp, revealed to be only a few painful yards away. but the japanese woman did not move. >> i felt responsible as a human being for her life and to know that she died here is just so intense. i feel responsible in some way but i know i did everything within my power. i just -- i wish i could have done more. i guess that's what happens in the mountains. it's a dangerous game and we come here by choice and we do what we can. and sometimes it just doesn't
introducing build your own pancakes. only at denny's. we go back to everest now, as lessons from the mountain continues, with my co-anchor cynthia mcfadden. >> reporter: after surviving the tragedy that took eight lives on mt. everest back in 1996, neal beidleman is going back up, so he can truly come back down. he is putting everything on the line. >> it's about 10:30 p.m. and
we're going to go with this group of people here, going to climb up in the dark, get to mt. everest. >> reporter: it has taken nearly two months to get back to this point. he's in the final stretch, but he's in trouble. >> i started really struggling on my way up and i didn't know what it was, i felt, well, maybe i'll just get through this phase or this little spell. >> reporter: but his breathing only became more and more labored. though his equipment seemed to be working. >> i started lagging behind my group and it definitely made me a little worried. >> reporter: did you think about turning around? >> i did, for sure. in some way, actually kept me going, because i started thinking about some of my teammates back in '96. >> reporter: had some of them experienced the same thing? what was going on?
when we see that video of you coming up to the summit, you are clearly not yourself. >> yeah, well, you can also see that the oxygen mask i have is pulled off of my face, i'm breathing around it, i'm just not getting any, i don't know, it's like it's not working, i don't know. i'm just not getting enough in me. >> reporter: but when so much can go suddenly wrong, sometimes things can go suddenly right. another climber takes a look at his gear. >> without saying a word, he takes his hand out of his glove and takes his thumb and punches the rubber gasket of my oxygen mask and it snaps back into place and within 20 seconds, i feel this warm tingling feeling going through my body. my head clears and all of a suddenen, i look at bill and i'm like, oh. that was it. >> reporter: so, you had climbed without oxygen. >> apparently.
>> reporter: neal beidleman began to piece together what may have happened to his friends. almost like a whiser if from scott fischer's mountainside grave. >> i'm thinking about how hard it must have been for him when his oxygen ran out. >> reporter: the small things can change everything. >> it gave me, in a strange sense, some comfort, knowing that -- that perhaps it was something like this that happened to these guys and it wasn't that they just made bad decisions, necessarily, because they made bad decisions. there was just -- just a really clear reason why they weren't themselves, necessarily. >> reporter: risks do have consequences. and sometimes some of us get a second chance. for "nightline," i'm cynthia mcfadden. >> an amazing story from everest. thanks to cynthia. and thank you for watching abc news. we hope you check in for "good